Sunday meeting preview, selections, comments and odds.
It doesn’t matter where you are in the racing world, everyone gets excited when this iconic day comes round and Singapore and the Emirates Singapore Derby is no exception.
In fact the $1.15 million Group 1 can lay claims to the best day of racing on the Singapore calendar and the strong 2017 field is befitting of such an occasion.
True, the reigning Singapore Horse-of-the-Year, Debt Collector, is a notably absentee from this 4YO Classic but given he found the likes of ALIBI, INFANTRY and LIM’S CRUISER all formidable opposition in the Stewards’ Cup and the Patron’s Bowl, he would have found winning a tough ask.
ALIBI won both those lead-up races and has to be a big show to make it a clean-sweep, although the NZ-bred entire is yet to be tested beyond a mile.
Likewise, LIM’S CRUISER is yet to be tested beyond 1600m at any level but both horses have Group 1 victories to their name and should figure heavily in this finish.
INFANTRY has won over 1800m which won’t be lost on punters while a plethora of other runners also come into consideration over the 2000m journey of the Derby.
The wildcard is ELITE EXCALIBUR.
The Fastnet Rock gelding has raced at Group 1 level over 2000m in Australia and his effort to storm home in the Patron’s Bowl had Derby winner written all over it.
A race not to be missed!
Best Bets: (LIM’S KNIGHT race 8, win), (TALES OF SUMMER race 2, value) and (BATTLE OF TROY race 10, value).
Bankers for Jackpots: Race 8 (1, 2, 4, 7 and 11), race 9 (1, 2, 3 and 5), race 10 (1, 2, 4, 8 and 10) and race 11 (1, 2, 3, 5 and 7).
Race cards and Larry Foley's synopsis follows and for updates on all runners go to www.kranjiracing.com
Please note the odds listed are "reference odds" only.
Selections; 8 FAREES - 4 HAPPY BABY - 9 BEIJING STAR - 5 GALILEO'S APPROACH
A moderate Maiden gives FAREES another chance to break through. The Foxwedge 3YO placed over this trip two starts back and has been consistent placing at three of five starts; he may be too good for these. HAPPY BABY ran on well last start over 1200m following two good poly efforts; from the good gate he should be in the finish. BRING ME JOY placed twice over this trip in NZ prior to arrival and with a 3kg claim could improve on recent poly efforts. AMIABILITY has been running on fairly over 1200m and could improve up in trip. GALILEO'S APPROACH is resuming after two moderate trials, his last run was a placing at this trip and he could be prominent - watch for support. Most of the others have little to recommend them though BEIJING STAR is showing improvement and had excuses at his last start.
1 BRING ME JOY *** Placed twice over this trip in NZ prior to arrival and with 3kg claim could improve on poly efforts. 5.00
2 AMIABILITY ** Has been running on fairly over 1200m. Could improve over 1400m. 7.00
3 ECLAIR SHADOW * Recent efforts moderate but placed at only attempt at 1400m. Could improve. 12
4 HAPPY BABY *** Ran on well last start over 1200m following two good poly efforts. From the good gate should be in the finish. 4.00
5 GALILEO'S APPROACH *** Resuming after two moderate trials. Last run was a placing at this trip and could be prominent. Watch market. 7.00
6 WALTERS BAY * Blinkers off but yet to place in nine outings and needs to improve. 50
7 BALKAN CHALLENGER * Gets Alan Munro but hasn't placed in 17 outings. 50
8 FAREES *** Has been finding it hard to win but has been runner-up at past three outings and gets another chance to break through. 3.00
9 BEIJING STAR *** Excuses last start and happy to follow over 1400m. 14
10 SNOW DANCER * Yet to place in 8 starts. Tested. 50
11 ALWAYS THERE * Showed some improvement last start but needs to do more. 50
Selections; 1 TALES OF SUMMER - 5 SECRET SQUIRREL - 2 RICH FORTUNE - 3 FRAGRANCE EMPIRE
A very moderate KSD where most have difficulty winning. RICH FORTUNE improved with blinkers last start, his best form is on poly but he placed in this class at his last turf outing and has a win at the trip; he should get a good run with Manoel Nunes to ride. SECRET SQUIRREL broke through last start and placed at his only turf outing, this is not much harder and he should be prominent. FRAGRANCE EMPIRE showed some improvement last start and drops back to his winning, class, surface and distance; he goes well for Mark Ewe and could improve. The surprise could be TALES OF SUMMER who is resuming and his most recent trial was dominant, his best form is over longer but he is down in grade and won at this trip in Perth before arrival; he could show up for 4kg claimer.
1 TALES OF SUMMER *** Resuming and most recent trial was dominant. Best form is over longer but is down in grade and has won at this trip in Perth before arrival. Could show up for 4kg claimer. 8.00
2 RICH FORTUNE *** Improved with blinkers last start. Best form is on poly but placed in this class at last turf outing and has won at the trip. 4.00
3 FRAGRANCE EMPIRE *** Showed some improvement last start and drops back to winning, class surface and distance. 5.00
4 LIM'S GREETING * Resuming with tongue-tie. Was struggling last preparation but was supported last start. Trials have been moderate. Watch market. 33
5 SECRET SQUIRREL *** Broke through last start and placed at only turf outing. This is not much harder and should be prominent. 4.00
6 NATURAL IMPULSE ** Placed over this trip in Class 4 on turf last start and this is easier. Drawn out but should be running on. 7.00
7 MR MOSA * Resuming with blinkers off. Trials have been fair and best form is over longer. 33
8 SOLITAIRE * Gets blinkers and suited this class and distance but hasn't won for a long time. 14
9 MISS BLANCHETT ** Won Class 5 over this trip last start and has run well in this company previously. Could show up. 8.00
10 BELLUS WONDER * Form moderate and needs poly. 33
11 GREAT SEVEN ** Maiden dropping back in trip but should be competitive. 50
12 ANY RUMOUR * Recent form poor. Wants easier and longer. 50
Selections; 5 LEON - 2 LIM'S CASINO - 4 GOLD CROWN - 7 LITTLE BIG MAN
Another moderate Class 4 field gives the consistent LIM'S CASINO a chance; he is racing soundly in this class, should get a good run throughout and be in the finish. His danger is the 3YO in LEON who placed in Novice company last start after an ambitious Guineas run; he shows some promise and should be running on. GOLD CROWN was caught wide and only battled last start but gets a tongue-tie and his recent trial was sound, he can improve with Michael Rodd to ride. Of the others, LITTLE BIG MAN just missed with William Pike up in KSD last start, this is harder but he could show up. KEEPITUP was outclassed last start and his best Singapore form has been on poly but he won twice over a mile in Australia before arrival and could show up.
1 KEEPITUP ** Outclassed last start and best Singapore form has been on poly. 7.00
2 LIM'S CASINO *** Racing soundly in this class and should get a good run throughout. Should be in the finish. 4.00
3 FIGHTING WARRIOR ** Excuses last start and this race does suit; each way. 12
4 GOLD CROWN *** Caught wide and only battled last start. Gets a tongue-tie and recent trial was sound. Can improve with Michael Rodd to ride. 4.00
5 LEON *** Placed in Novice company last start. Shows some promise and should be running on. 4.00
6 LINCOLN'S EXCUSE ** Has disappointed since resuming but recent trial showed improvement. Take on trust. 33
7 LITTLE BIG MAN *** Just missed with William Pike up in KSD last start. This is harder but could show up. 7.00
8 TAICHI BELT * Resuming after dead-heat Maiden win. Has had several trials and should get a good run throughout. 12
9 PARKER * Won Class 5 two starts back but only battled last start. Might need easier. 25
10 NOVA RANGER * Won Class 5 two starts back but struggled last start. Needs easier. 33
Selections; 5 LIM'S REGARD - 12 VENUS DE MILO - 8 SILVER SKY - 9 BANGKOK BOY
The one with form is REDOUBT who changes stables but he may be a non-winner. The blinkers come off and tongue-tie goes on as he gets another chance to break through but not with our money. LIM'S REGARD had support at debut and put in a solid effort despite being checked; he has trialled well since and should get a good run throughout. SILVER SKY was hampered last start after a good debut and can improve. BOY WONDER had support and dropped out at debut; he has trialled well since and with the tongue-tie off could improve. The other interest is in the 2YO’s including VENUS DE MILO who improved last start and could be running on; BANGKOK BOY is beautifully bred and his recent trial was good. SATELLITE BOY has also trialled well. Tough race.
1 REDOUBT *** Changed stables. Has placed at six of seven outings. Can break through with blinkers off and tongue-tie added. 3.00
2 NEVERTHELESS * Having first turf outing but has not shown up at races. 33
3 BATTLE PLAN * Needs to improve on debut. 33
4 BOY WONDER *** Had support and dropped out at debut. Has trialled well since and with tongue-tie off could improve. 12
5 LIM'S REGARD *** Had support at debut and put in a solid effort despite being checked. Has trialled well since and should get a good run throughout. 3.40
6 PATROCLUS * Needs to improve on effort at debut. 200
7 SATELLITE MASTER *** By Delegator. Dam won over 1207m. Trials have been good enough to show up on debut. 12
8 SILVER SKY *** Hampered last start after good debut. Can win. 5.00
9 BANGKOK BOY *** By Pierro. Half brother to Group winner Thyme For Roses. Dam won 9 races up to 1200m, 6 straight as a 2YO and AUD1.6 million. Recent trial was eye-catching. Watch market. 12
10 BEBOP * Did it tough on debut but needs to improve. 33
11 TERRIFIC * By Thewayyouare. Brother to 2-time winner Downtown Chicago. Trials have been moderate. Watch market. 33
12 VENUS DE MILO *** Improved last start at odds and will be running on again. 12
Selections; 7 CHAIRMAN - 1 THE CAPITAL - 6 EL DON - 5 CERTAINLY
Some good middle distance horses involved here and may be a consolation for some who missed out in the Derby. In fact CHAIRMAN was just nutted by Justice Fair last start who is running in the Derby. The 4YO is racing soundly without winning; he gets William Pike and can win. EL DON is a tough stayer who has won both starts over this trip; he will be hard to hold out again. THE CAPITAL is racing well and winkers go on; he won over this trip before arrival and should be prominent throughout. CERTAINLY battled away over this trip last start and could improve for Michael Rodd. Of the others, blinkers come off IRON MAN and he could possibly improve over the 2000m.
1 THE CAPITAL *** Racing well and winkers go on. Won over this trip before arrival and should be prominent throughout. 4.00
2 MIGHTY KENNY ** Hampered but disappointed last start, this trip could test and better on the Poly. 20
3 IRON MAN *** Blinkers off after running on last start. Keep safe. 10
4 MIGHTY EMPEROR * Honest polytracker up in class and distance. Yet to place in 10 turf outings. 33
5 CERTAINLY *** Battled on well over this trip last start against the bias and could improve for Michael Rodd. 5.00
6 EL DON *** Tough stayer who has won both starts over this trip. Will be hard to hold out again. 3.50
7 CHAIRMAN *** Racing soundly without winning. Gets William Pike and this distance should suit. 4.00
8 GOLD FAITH * Dropped out last start and has struggled to date in Singapore. Needs to improve. 33
9 GOLAZO ** Just missed last start over a mile in Class 4. Improving with racing and should be running on with tongue-tie on. 14
10 GALAXY EXPRESS * Likes this distance but class may test. 33
Selections; 1 ETTIJAH - 3 STAR STRIKE - 2 SHOOT UP HIGH - 4 BE BOLD
Another moderate KSD may help ETTIJAH who shows promise and is coming off a strong Maiden win. This is harder but from the good gate should be prominent throughout. STAR STRIKE resuming also appeals. The 5YO has been racing well in this company and his recent trial was strong; he should be in the finish again. SHOOT UP HIGH was run down over 1400m in this class last start; he will appreciate the shorter distance but the gate is no help. CHANGBAI MOUNTAIN is another awkwardly drawn, he weakened over 1400m last start and is better suited by this trip, blinkers go back on and he should be prominent. Of the others BE BOLD is rarely far away and DREAMS COME TRUE, who has changed stables, has been trialling well.
1 ETTIJAH *** Won Maiden very well at debut. This is harder but should be prominent throughout. 4.00
2 SHOOT UP HIGH *** Run down over 1400m in this class last start. Will appreciate shorter distance but gate no help. 5.00
3 STAR STRIKE *** Resuming. Racing well in this company and recent trial was strong. Should be in the finish again. 4.00
4 BE BOLD ** Excuses last start and rarely far away but has been finding it hard to win. 10
5 CHANGBAI MOUNTAIN ** Weakened over 1400m last start and better suited this trip. Awkwardly drawn but blinkers go back on and should be prominent. 8.00
6 LOUEY VELOCE ** Having a rare turf outing. Always a show but rarely wins. 20
7 STEEL CUTTER * Former Malaysian who showed nothing at Singapore debut. 33
8 SOON YI * Tongue-tie comes off after disappointing last start. Take on trust. 20
9 DREAM COMES TRUE ** Resuming after changing stables and blinkers, tongue-tie comes off. Trialled well. Watch for support. 12
10 HERACLES ** Blinkers back on after running on in this company last start. Only wins have been on poly but drops back in trip and could run on late. 20
11 STIRLING * Has speed but best form is on poly. 25
12 DESERT FOX * Recent trial was sound but best form is on poly. Could be running on. 20
13 AMERICAN SNIPER * Maiden yet to place in six starts. 50
Selections; 6 BLUE SWEDE - 4 DANIEL - 1 WAR AFFAIR - 9 MR FANTASTIC
A strange KSA where most have only moderate recent form compared to their best. WAR AFFAIR only battled in the QEII and is not the horse he was but is better suited by this distance and still good enough to deal with these. BLUE SWEDE hasn't won for some time but charged home when resuming and this distance suits, he should be hard to hold of with G Boss a factor. DANIEL is always a show and a recent trial suggests he is ready to win again and MR FANTASTIC looks well placed with 53kg. Of the rest, TWICKENHAM struggled in the QEII but is better suited by this trip and should get a good run throughout while WHITE HUNTER is racing well and give them something to run down.
1 WAR AFFAIR *** Only battled in QEII and is not the horse he was but better suited this distance and still good enough to deal with these. 3.00
2 TIME ODYSSEY * Better on poly but likes this distance and should get a good run throughout. 16
3 BEST TOTHELIGN * Has disappointed at recent starts and needs to improve. 33
4 DANIEL *** Hasn't won for a while but recent trial was strong and could show up for William Pike. 8.00
5 PERFECT P * Recent form poor and was pushed at recent trial. Could show up. 20
6 BLUE SWEDE *** Hasn't won for some time but charged home when resuming and this distance suits. Should be hard to hold off. 4.00
7 TWICKENHAM ** Struggled in QEII but better suited this trip and weight. 10
8 WHITE HUNTER ** Racing well. Mile can test but will give them something to run down. 8.00
9 MR FANTASTIC *** Put in a solid effort in this company last start and recent trial was strong. Should get a good run throughout. 8.00
Selections; 7 LIM'S KNIGHT - 11 QUEEN ROULETTE - 1 BIG MAN - 2 KOLOMBIA
A solid BM67 sprint field as we edge closer to the Derby and a couple of gear changes could make a difference. LIM'S KNIGHT in particular could benefit from blinkers being added for the first time as his form of late has been good enough anyway so the extra gear may be the cream on the cake. KOLOMBIA also gets blinkers added to his gear and while his form hasn't been as strong, a recent trial with headgear suggests he improves. It will also pay to keep QUEEN ROULETTE very safe. The 3YO filly is honest and has shown plenty of ability and looks up to winning this with a lightweight. Last start winner BIG MAN also appeals and CLASSIFIED from gate 1 should figure prominently.
1 BIG MAN *** Took a drop to Class 4 to knock in win but that effort very good and pay to follow. 5.00
2 KOLOMBIA *** Will find this easier than last start and blinkers on first time has him under notice. 5.00
3 NOVA WARRIOR * Form just fair and a better option on the Poly. 33
4 CLASSIFIED *** Coming off a shocker and back in trip but recent trials have been good enough to give this a shake. 12
5 D'BUFFALO MAN * Resuming and may need longer to show his best. 33
6 HIMALAYA DRAGON ** Going along OK on the Poly and should figure in the exotic mix. 12
7 LIM'S KNIGHT *** Showed more than enough on the turf of late to win this with blinkers added. 4.00
8 FAITHFULLY ** Usually seen on the Poly but handles the turf and worth thought exotics. 12
9 WHOSE ELSE'S ** Broke a long run out outs last start but was due and can figure again. 8.00
10 MARK ECLIPSE ** Did it tough last start so effort OK and will get the favours from gate 2 in this field. 12
11 QUEEN ROULETTE *** More than honest filly who can win this without surprising. 8.00
Selections; 5 ELITE EXCALIBUR - 2 INFANTRY - 3 LIM'S CRUISER - 1 ALIBI
One of the most intriguing Derby fields for years given two of the tops picks are a query at the trip and a few out-and-out stayers get their chance after bypassing the traditional lead-in races. But the form from the Stewards' Cup and Patron's Bowl should hold up and ALIBI has won both. He held off the swoopers in the PATRON'S BOWL and while this is his first time over 2000m, he is will be in the winning mix. INFANTRY and LIM'S CRUISER kept ALIBI more than honest in both lead-in races and both hit the line very well in the Patron's Bowl. Of the two INFANTRY has won at Group level over 1800m, which should hold him in good stead. However, ELITE EXCALIBUR was huge in the Patron's Bowl and with form over 2000m at Group level in Australia, he is the one to hold out late. Blanket over the rest.
1 ALIBI *** Impossible to fault winning form but again tested stepping up in trip. 4.00
2 INFANTRY *** In the mix in both Stewards' Cup and Patron's Bowl and has a Group win over 1800m to his name so hard to hold out. 4.00
3 LIM'S CRUISER *** Had his clouds lowered in the lead up races but hit the line strongly in the Patron's Bowl and can win. 4.00
4 NOVA STRIKE ** Ran on well late in the QEII Cup over 1800m behind Quechua and that form should hold up here. 20
5 ELITE EXCALIBUR *** Has form over 2000m from Australia and coming off a huge run in the Patron's Bowl. Can win. 8.00
6 ABSOLUTE MIRACLE ** Battled away manfully in the Patron's Bowl but may be tested over this trip. 20
7 GURU-GURU ** Coming off a shocker in the QEII but has form this trip so pay to keep safe. 20
8 SONG TO THE MOON ** Hard to have on recent form but will see out the trip with best work expected late and blinkers off. 33
9 LIM'S SAMURAI ** Did it tough enough on the pace in the Patron's Bowl to give another chance although distance should test. 20
10 MAGSTOCK ** Tested this level but in very honest form and trip no concern. 20
11 PREDITOR ** Found out late in the Patron's Bowl but will lead and always puts himself into contention. 20
12 EXCELLENCY ** Ran on well last start and another Le Grange runner who will have petrol in the tank late. 20
13 MR SCORSESE * Tested at this level. 100
14 SUN HOPLITES * Nuisance value only. 100
15 JUSTICE FAIR ** Huge step up in Class after first win in Singapore but will see out the trip. 50
Selections; 8 BATTLE OF TROY - 4 WINNING CAUSE - 1 CAORUNN - 11 MR CROWE
Plenty of winning hopes in this Class 3 event over 1400m suggesting value will be about. BATTLE OF TROY has been testing the waters in some nice Company of late so will appreciate being back in Class 3. A handy 1kg claim will see him carry 52kg and with blinkers added, he can win. WINNING CAUSE is honest and looks due. The 5YO has been all over them of late in similar affairs without winning and should figure heavily again. Too many others to mention but CAORUNN will lead and could be hard to run down while DARCI CHARMER will be working into this late. Down the weights, BANDIDO is in cracking form in easier Company but has to be respected while MR CROWE and GUILTY PLEASURES are both solid each-way hopes.
1 CAORUNN *** Can lead and will be heard to run down over 1400m. 4.00
2 DARCI CHARMER *** Battled on well last start and will work into this late. 6.00
3 MCGREGOR ** Didn't run on last start over the mile but should be thereabouts on what he showed two back. 20
4 WINNING CAUSE *** Foot on the till and will figure heavily in this finish. 4.00
5 CHEETAH ON FIRE * Back in trip and hard to have. 50
6 GUILTY PLEASURES *** Plenty of excuses last start and always an each-way hope in races like this. 12
7 VON KRUMM * Struggling of late. 50
8 BATTLE OF TROY *** Will find this easier than last start and gets blinkers so worth a serious look. 8.00
9 ZEDKAAR * Never involved last start and have to take on trust. 33
10 BANDIDO *** Hard to fault winning form and pay to keep very safe although this is obviously tougher. 8.00
11 MR CROWE *** Excuses when not far away last start in similar affair and worth an each-way look. 8.00
12 RETURN TO JUSTICE ** May need longer to win but honest and will work into this late at odds. 20
Selections; 3 LIM'S REFORM - 5 MAGIC CITY - 1 THE WIND - 7 ROYAL DIWAN
The form line looks obvious in this Class 4 with two horses in LIM'S REFORM and MAGIC CITY having placed behind the unbeaten Chopin's Fantaise at their respective last starts. Unfortunately they were in different races although both over 1400m and both were impressive in defeat. Not much separate the pair but MAGIC CITY may look the winner late with LIM'S REFORM having last crack so it does look a toss up. It's not a two horse race by any means with THE WIND showing form last start and suited in this grade and trip while MARINE TREASURE is in very honest form and may appreciate the step up to 1400m on the turf. ROYAL DIWAN is also a serious hope after working home well against the bias last start and he may be value.
1 THE WIND *** Ran on well late last start and gets blinkers so big run expected here. 20
2 MARINE TREASURE *** Hard to fault recent Poly form and step up to 1400m on turf may see a result. 5.00
3 LIM'S REFORM *** Supported when beaten by a handy type last start similar affair and hard to beat in this. 3.00
4 ECLIPSE SPLASH ** Disappointing last start with support and have to take on trust stepping to 1400m. 12
5 MAGIC CITY *** Just missed behind handy type last start in Novice Company and can win this. 3.60
6 LETITGO ** Former Irish galloper who has had plenty of quiet trials but market only guide. 20
7 ROYAL DIWAN *** Ran on very well against the bias to place last start at odds and pay to follow. 12
8 TARGET * Will improve with racing but like to see more before considering. 50
9 ARR FLAIR ** Improved to place in weaker Company last start and can include in exotics. 20
10 MOON CHARM ** Traffic issues when a good thing beaten in Class 5 last start and pay to keep safe. 12
11 ROAN RANGER ** Competitive without being a threat last start in this Company but could include in exotics. 20
12 SCORPIO * Maiden who needs easier. 50